(WARNING: SUPER DUPER LONG ENTRY AHEAD)
I'm apprehensive of whats to come because I know it would not be easy. I fear you would fall into mixing with the wrong crowd, succumb to peer pressure- please please.. don't pick up smoking!!, or tolerating some bastard asshole who doesn't treat you well and experience heartbreak and go through hormonal changes... getting your period!!... heck.. its only a few years more to go. I need to start getting mentally prepared NOW! I'm afraid for you my little one.. and I only want you to be happy.
If I don't say this years from now, please know that you can ALWAYS come to me. Always. I know that you will do something that would totally PISS ME OFF. I know it.. because that was just like how I was when I was younger. *thump at chest with fist - xim tia *heart pain* but whatever happens, come back to me. I will be there when you need me. Even if I would seem like a raving lunatic then...
How did my little baby suddenly get so big? Time has really flown by and look at you today. I dug up the birth story that I want to share with all the people who read this blog and will include that here in this entry tonight.
Yes, we were very busy yesterday at work selling our shoes and with your sisters' graduation. I hope you had a great time with your Koh Koh, Mama, Uncle Mark and Gareth at the cable cars and dinner. So we spent some time together today at Vivo City.
With a budget given to you in some shops, I found your calculations impeccable. I'm so proud of you! and I'm happy that you understand the concept of budgeting too! This will come in handy many many years down the road in your life.
We took some pictures... and each time I look at your pictures, I remember the first thing I said to you when you were born... "She looks like you!" - I said to your Father. And years down the road, you're still the same photocopy image of your father. Amazing.
We took some pictures by the waterside with your sister, Eirian too. I know she annoys you alot. She loves you and looks up to you more than you know it. She misses you when you're not around so much that she cries. And she's contented and happy when you give her your attention. I love how you both talk to each other every night in bed in the dark till you both fall asleep out of pure exhaustion. I notice that your talks, coupled with the occassional giggle could go on for up to 2 hours after I've sent you both to bed! Its like as if you both never have topics to run out of!
Thank you for being tolerant and patient with her. I know how you resist from hitting your sister when she gets annoying because your hand is heavy and can really hurt her. I can see how you defend her when she's in trouble. I can only pray that both of you will lean on each other and keep loving each other as you grow in age.
We went from Daiso, to various shops to Marks & Spencer where we covered ourselves silly with tester lotions. Everything smelt so nice right! I will go back one of these days and get you a lotion set of your choice.
Then we went to Giant and with a $12 budget, I watched you as you checked the price tags, checked out the stuff you wanted, calculated how much you would have and if it fit into the budget and in the end after gathering your choice for the day. You spent exactly $12!!
You chose a pair of fairy wings as part of your selection and of course, Eirian wanted one too. I saw how you wanted the dark pink set but graciously gave it up to your sister because you saw how happy Eirian was when she saw it. Thank you again. Your heart is kind.
So you chose a lighter pink set instead. I know you preferred the darker one and your generosity touched me alot. The lighter one ended up as a lovely choice, specially with your outfits today. You were in light pink and your sister was in dark pink and everything was a perfect match.
Both of you became fluttering fairies at Vivocity! And all the way home with your wings,wands and antennaes.. you both were adorable!! Everyone couldn't help but notice how these 2 fairies were bouncing about the place.. and I was one proud momma!
Happy Birthday again Lauren... I love you... deep deep!!
Here's how my pregnancy journal and your birth story went, I wrote this in 2002 when I was pregnant with your sister, Eirian.... this is going to be LONG post people... prepare yourself for alot of rambling and stuff about pregnancy details... :)
To familiarise everyone before you become confused..
CJ - my hubby aka my dah dah..
Dr. Teo Kok Pong - first gynae at KKH
Dr. Kenneth Kwek - referred Gynae at KKH
Dr. FM Lai - The chosen one.. the last and current gynae.
When I concieved Lauren, I was 21 years old. 7 months after my marriage with CJ. I had just resigned from my job in February 2000 and found a new job in March 2000. We had suspicions when I missed my monthly period and my breasts started changing in colour and shape. The skin on my body was sensitive and I was getting bloated and feeling very sick.
On the first week of my new job, I had to take medical leave as I was down with a bad flu. But after the effects of the flu had passed, I found that I was still feeling sick and down. I made an appointment to see a doctor at the KKH Ang Mo Kio Satellite Clinic on the evening of the 5th of April. CJ met me at the Clinic after work and it was there that the doctor, Dr Teo Kok Pong confirmed the pregnancy.
He showed me a little heartbeat, around the size of a peanut. He estimated the delivery date to be on the 11th of November 2000, according to his assumptions from the size of the foetus. So this is where it all started. I was given my first bottle of Obimin multivitamins and ultrasound scan picture copy and sent on my way. This made way for monthly prenatal checkups and appointments at KK Hospital that took place every 4 weeks.
Starting on the 2nd of May, 2000. We had our first proper ultrasound checkup. Everything was going well. Fathers were not allowed in during this scan but only on subsequent ones. The scan indicated that the delivery date be on the 15th of November, 2000. This was medically assumed according to her size and growth. Each checkup started with a routine test of high blood pressure, weight and a urine test.
It was at this time where they started giving me medicine for morning sickness along with the usual Obimin multivitamins. Very bad morning sickness started around this time. I couldn't eat anything proper and the smell of oil really disgusted me. I had sweet cravings and wanted everything sweet. I could not hold anything down except whole wheat bread and a thin spread of blueberry jam. Even that came out at times. The toilet bowl soon became my best friend over the following weeks.
Everytime I threw up, the blood vessels in my face would burst and I would have many red spots all over my face. It only cleared in 2 days which was of course followed by another vomitting session which would burst the vessels again. My breasts were slowly increasing in size and was very heavy. This was the only time I drank so much and continued doing so every single day till Lauren was born. I took at least 1.5 to 3 litres of fluid everyday. Half water and half milk. I tried taking Anmum but I got sick taking milk powder every single day so I changed to fresh milk instead and finishing 3 big packs every 2 days. Either taking Magnolia full cream milk or Magnolia folate milk. *which isn't sold anymore*
I craved alot of fruits and tomatoes. I had to have a snicker bar every single day. Pineapples were top of my list till I was told not to eat it while I was pregnant because it was too 'cooling'. I avoided taking Chin Chow drinks, coffee, and mutton. Also, not to use scissors on the bed, not so get upset or angry and being very careful not to fall down. Medicine was given to me for the morning sickness but they didn't really help. I suspected that the multivitamins were the ones that made me feel sick so instead of just taking it in the morning before I left for work. I took it with breakfast when I could so it would stay down. Morning sickness only subsided around the 16th-18th week of the pregnancy. I lost 10kg during this time. But at the end of the whole pregnancy, I gained a total of 22kg.
The 30th of May was my next checkup. It was normal but blood was taken to check for Chicken pox antibodies. It came out positive that I did have the antibodies so nothing had to be done. There were suspicions in my office of a staff's kid having chicken pox and another having mumps. They did not come into direct contact to me but we did the test just to be sure anyway. Dr. Teo told me that according to his past experience, he said that I would go into labour on the 14th of November if all went well and he said he was never wrong. We shall see I told him. But it turns out in the end that he was right all along.
The 4th of July was another checkup. 2 days after my 22nd birthday. The triple test was done and the results came out normal. We had another ultrasound scan at this time and could see Lauren moving about. I went for a week-end trip to the Philippines on the 7th to the 11th of July, 2000. Lauren was informally introduced to family on that side. I bought alot of maternity clothes and some baby stuff was given by my dad. We went for lunches and dinners and brought the 'baby' to Hard Rock cafe for a night out to dance the night away.
The whole time, Lauren kept on moving and pushing her butt out every side of my tummy. I was well taken care of in flight with seats at my request with alot of leg room, bottles of water and even a special meal from business class as I was not able to eat the one that they were serving at the time.
The 1st of August had another routine checkup. Everytime I had a checkup. I would take medical leave and the doctor would give me another day to rest after that. I made the booking of my ward hospitalisation at this time for a B1 room, which was a 4 bedded room with phone, tv, and private bathroom. At this time, I signed up for an antenatal class which took place every thursday evening at 6pm till 8pm starting on the 31st of August till the 19th of October.
During this time we learned how to look after ourself during pregnancy, relaxation exercises, diet, medications to avoid, talk on what happens to my body during pregnancy and complaints explained, how to care for my newborn, how to know when you are in labour, ways of delivery, pain relief, breastfeeding, how to cope with the different stages of labour, parent craft where we learn how to sterilise bottles, bathing the baby, types of baby supplies, viewing of a birth video, tour of the delivery ward and finally the different ways of family planning and contraception and ending with a labour rehearsal and learning postnatal excercises.
The 2nd of August had an appointment where I had to take a glucose tolerance test to test for gestational diabetes. Being overweight, I had an increased risk of developing Gest. Diabetes but the test came out normal and I did not develop it throughout the pregnancy. I had to take a cup full of glucose solution and drew blood. One hour later the same was done, drink and draw blood and another hour later, the same. Since this was done in the morning and I had to fast the night before and couldn't eat till the test was over, I was extremely hungry. The thing that I was not happy about was the the nurse kept on poking the needle back into the same hole in my arm so much so that when it was all done, the place where the blood was drawn was all swollen and purple. Looking much like a little bruise.
The 29th of August was another routine testup. All was normal. I had the flu again at this time so medicine and antibiotics were prescribed to me.
The 26th of September was my last appointment with Dr. Teo Kok Pong as he was leaving KKH and going on in to private practice. He asked me if I would like to follow him as his patient and eventually deliver at Mt. Alvernia but I was not comfortable with that so I told him that I would stay with KKH. He said he would refer me to another doctor. I requested that it be another consultant as I believe that the care is better and the rates paid the same. We had another ultrasound scan and found out that we were having a baby girl. The way I was carrying the baby looking like a watermelon in front and neat and tidy and not being able to see my tummy from my back made people say that I was carrying a boy but my cravings indicated a girl.
So we decided to call her Lauren, my choice and Julia, Cj's choice. Lauren Julia Sim. The 3rd of October was with another doctor. Dr Kenneth Kwek. We had a routine checkup and examination but I told him that I was not comfortable with him and would like to change doctors. He reminded me of an uncle of mine. I later found out that he was not a consultant but a senior registrar. The head nurse tried to counsel me to stay with him saying that he was a nice doctor but I just wasn't comfortable and demanded a change.
I was later referred to Dr. Lai Fon Min. He is a consultant and more over the head of department of maternal fetal medicine. Ahh... now that made me more reassured. The 17th of October was with Dr. FM Lai. I had my routine checkup and I found that I liked this doctor much better than the previous two and decided that he will be the one to deliver my baby. He was easy to get along with, did not have a stuck up attitude and was professional and was informative in his session with me. It was going to be the start of my weekly checkups as I was in my 3rd trimester and in my last countdown weeks.
The 24th of October was another checkup where he discussed pain relief during labour with me to consider. I drew up my birth plan and we discussed it and he agreed to everything I wanted. I had a fetal movement chart which I was supposed to fill up every single day. Everytime I felt the baby move, I was supposed to count it and record it on the card with a minimum of 10 movements a day.
The 31st of October was another checkup and I brought up a concern that the baby was not moving very much so we had a cardiotocography where a heart monitor was strapped onto my tummy to monitor the baby's heart rate and movement frequency. I was made to lie down in a tiny room and told to keep quiet till the test was over. I was there for about an hour and when the results were printed out, all was normal. I suspected that I had lost my mucus plug and the doctor said that it probably was after hearing the description and told me to look out for labour signs and to take extra care these last 2 weeks.
The 7th of November was my 2nd last checkup. I had my final ultrasound checkup and the doctor doing the scan said that the baby was very active and even had a scan of her pointing her fingers as if saying one more week then I'm out!
At this time, we already had the baby crib delivered to our house and was filled with all the baby pharaphernalia waiting for the little one to come home. We packed the mommy and baby bag and put it up on the shelf for CJ to grab when the time comes to go to the hospital. My last checkup was on the 14th of November, 2000. It was a routine checkup but I brought up my concern that I had increased back ache and felt a little tender around my cervix and had increasing whitish discharge. He did an internal check and said that I was already 50% effaced and 3cm dialated. He said that he won't be surprised if I deliver the very night itself.
We made arrangments to induce labour the next morning on the 15th of November at noon if nothing came up during the evening and next morning as he had concerns of the baby being too big to deliver and would cause complications. He told me of cases of mothers going way over their due date and they either had complicated births or had their baby in risk of dying. Even at this time the baby has not engaged yet but was in the correct head down position.
So began the rest if the momentous day. I went home after buying some raisin buns from the 7-11 at the hospital. Upon reaching home, I spent the day resting, snacking and chatting with my other mommy friends on the net all the while having a slight back ache and braxton hicks contractions which hardened my tummy every hour or so. CJ came home a little earlier this day and by chance having a collegue's car on standby. He spent the evening playing his game, Baldur's Gate on the computer while I rested, watched TV and read my 'What to expect when you're expecting' book. Something that I started to read from the beginning of my pregnancy and literally was my pregnancy 'bible'.
The constant backache in the morning slowly got worse as the day passed and at around 8pm, I lay on the bed to rest and talked to CJ. At this time I was already complaining that my whole lower back hurts so at around 9pm Cj stopped playing his game and turned off the computer. He settled down with me and rubbed my back a little and we lay on the bed chatting and cuddling.
I was having small short bursts of contractions but very minor and CJ said to call his mom. When we did, she told us to go to the hospital and stay even if nothing happens tonight, just in case she said. But I didn't want to go unless I really needed to so we decided to wait a little longer. I told him that if the contractions or the ache in my back gets stronger then we'll go spend the night there.
At around 11pm, in the midst of cuddling, I felt a sharp 'kick' feeling that even had a 'pop' sound (but it could be my imagination) at my cervix/bladder area and I thought that Lauren had done a really hard 'karate' kick so after the initial yelp and ouch! I told CJ that I needed to pee so I sat up and immediately felt a gush of water flow out onto my legs and bed. With that I let out a big 'UHOH!' ..CJ said "what what what?" and stood up. I turned and looked at him while trying to block the water from flowing all over the bed. "Dah... I think my water broke."
He threw me a towel and I went to the bathroom to pee like I said before. But after the pee was gone, I was still dripping. And so it was confirmed. I smelt the fluid and it didn't have the acrid smell that urine has and it had a sweet glucose like aroma. He started to open the cupboard and got the baby bag out and stood at the door asking me. "So is it? Ur water?" And I said "yup, ok lets go". At this time, CJ went out into the hall gathering his stuff while I changed into a fresh pad and a light blue dress. After making sure the lights were all off, we set off to the hospital, I had a slight contraction before I went out of the door and then about 2 minutes later another came but it was not so painful and more like a tightening around ur abdomen.
I carried a plastic bag and waited for CJ to bring the car around and placed the plastic bag on the chair so that it would catch any fluid just in case my pad didn't work. CJ took about 10 mins to get me to the hospital. We were probably speeding but I didn't really notice. During the ride there, I had several contractions which were slowly getting harder and more painful as each one passed. It was still bearable and I was able to talk though it with a little ouch ouch ouch contraction.. breeeaaathhh!....~~ We timed it to be around 3 minutes between each contraction. So when we finally reached the hospital and pulled up in front of the 24-hour womens clinic where they taught us to go when we were in labour.
Before I got out of the car, I had one final contraction which numbed me abit before I could exit the door. I waddled out into the front of the clinic and assumed that someone will be there to help me and put me in a wheel chair and bring me to the delivery ward but they were all there saying, "Ah contractions ha. Can walk or not?" So I nodded then they said to go directly to the delivery ward on the 2nd floor. So CJ and me waddled into a lift and made our way to the delivery ward all filled with aphrehension and excitement.
Saying so this is it... As we entered the delivery ward's main door, I going through a particularly hard contraction and was slumped against a chair. The nurse at the reception tried to get my particulars while an ahmah went to get a wheel chair. CJ ran down to the car to get the baby bag and my admission papers. I told her my name, which doctor I was seeing and which room I booked. She took it all down and then I looked down onto the floor I saw water flowing down my legs and was thinking, ah damn stupid pad doesn't even work! Then a huge gush of water came flowing out and all over the floor at the reception area. The first burst at home was nothing compared to this gush and I knew that this was truely it.
The ahmah came rushing with the wheelchair and placed me onto it all the while dripping amniotic fluid and wheeled me into a delivery room. One of the last rooms in the ward and was deep inside amongst all the rooms. Once in the room the ahmah told me to remove my clothes and get changed into the hospital gown. I stood up from the wheelchair and had another contraction, groaning and moaning ahhhhhh while leaning against the hospital bed. She immediately went to the nurses counter and shouted, painful and hard contractions here!
So it was then I could hear the nurses outside shout back ok then say something about calling the doctor to come. After a while, I got changed and the ahmah put my soaking clothes into a plastic bag and put it in a corner and helped me onto the bed. A nurse came in, I'm not sure if she was a midwive and showed me the items around the bed and how to use the entenox gas mask. I immediately tried the mask but it took a while to get used to know when to breathe the gas in so that it worked. I waited till around 12:15am for CJ to come in to the delivery room. He told me that there were alot of people at the admissions area and he had to wait for his turn. And when it finally came, he had to go to the bathroom and then when he returned, he had to wait some more.
While I was waiting, I was going though a series of contractions which I tried to control while breathing the gas. I found that after breathing the gas after a while if done effectively did help the light contractions but didn't work when things got closer together and harder. I felt like I was drugged as after you breathe it in, slowly the place starts to get blurry and spin around and voices and sounds get farther and farther away. You suddenly feel like your head is stuffed with cotton, your eyes can't open properly, arms can't move and have no energy and you feel like your body is detatched from your head. When CJ finally came in, I was gassing my self and was literally 'out there'. I couldn't hear what he was saying properly until the effects subsided after a few minutes and I said whooo hoo dah.. I feel so high like on drugs.. "heyyyyy.. u want to tryyyy... hhaa haah ahaa..." and tried to pass him the gas mask. I must have looked abit psycho.
After a while, Dr Lai came in and greeted me but I was too stoned to reply properly. He checked my dialation and I heard him say 3.5cm. When he stuck his finger in to check, it hurt but my lower half of my body was already in such pain that it just added on to the chaos already down there. He talked to the nurses and told them that I had a birth plan and they said ok. He went away and CJ leaned over and asked me if he can go for half an hour to clear something in the office so that he can spend the rest of the day with me. "Will you be alright for about 1/2 hour?", I said "yeah, it should be ok but rush back soon ok" and so he left.
I was told that usually first births take about a 12-14hour labour so I thought that there was still long to go. A nurse came in and asked me what other pain relief I would like and asked if I would like an epidural. I immediately said yes and asked her to hurry up but she said she had to call the anesthesiologist. After a while, a lady came in and showed me the needle and apparatus for the epidural. I was relieved hoping that it would work but contractions were hard and I was curled up in pain everytime a wave passed. The doctor asked me to lie on my side and move closer to her but the contractions were about 30seconds apart and didn't give me much time to relax and move.
There was alot of huffing and puffing trying to move me to the side of the bed and onto my side then she told me to curl up like a ball so that she can insert the needle and told me not to move for anything. Which of course was hard having such painful contractions so everytime a contraction passed there was a mad rush to adjust me and try to insert the needle. During this time, a drip was put into my left hand and the baby heart monitor was strapped to my tummy.
I felt a cool spray onto my back and felt the doctor inserting the needle but it was not so bad because the contractions felt worse. After a couple of minutes, the doctor told me to lie on my back and then waited. A while later, she came back and asked me if I felt better or if I felt anything but NO! it was the same as ever and the contractions were getting more painful. She turned me over and I heard alot of mumbling and she said to the nurses, aiyah the epidural dropped out so then they had to do it all over again, put me on my side and try to insert another tube into my spinal column.
Apparently after that it was too late to work and it did not have any effect on me. I was already screaming and shouting as each wave of pain came over me. I couldn't even pick up the gas mask so a nurse came in and held it to my face and kept yelling breathe breathe breathe.. breathe more lah some more then can work don't stop! So I kept breathing.. hyperventilating more like it into the mask. After a while the contractions were getting unbearable and I was screeching and crying the pain changed. Initially when my water broke it was like a hard tightening and squeezing from the inside of your body and then next it felt like an extreme urge to shit and to push.
An old nurse came in and said "don't push yet ah, not yet dialated fully" but I was screaming "I! I! I! have toooo shhhhhiiiiiittt!!! Ow!Ow!OW!" The doctor came in after a short while and checked for dialation again then he said its ok, 10 cm can push. I never felt more relieved in my life, with that I immediately started to push. CJ came back during this time and stood by my side. I was crowning and I was surrounded by people, I can't even recall how many more people were in the room but I know that CJ was on my left, doctor down at my legs, a nurse holding my gas mask and another right next to her.
I felt the doctor do a episiotomy at my perineal area but didn't care. Instructions were coming from every angle and I heard them say when you have the urge, just push and it was obvious when my contractions started cause I quieted down in the small breaks and when the wave starts, I start to scream and curl up. The nurses kept saying "don't scream don't scream, save your energy to push, don't scream!" But I couldn't help it although I tried to bear some and grit my teeth instead. The nurses pulled my legs up onto my chest and held my legs up and open and once the contraction started they said "remember what they taught you in the classes? How to push?" I nodded and then when the contraction started, I tucked my chin into my chest and they started to count to 10 and I tried to push for 10 seconds each time through the contractions with as many as I can manage. Only thing is that they were not consistent with the counting and I lost concentration when they didn't count.
So a mental note for the next birth was that CJ would be in charge of making sure that there was someone doing the counting for me. And also with all the screaming, my mouth and throat was becoming dry. They were supposed to supply ice chips for the mothers to suck but they didn't do so for me. I was grateful when CJ wet his hanky and dripped water into my mouth. When the baby's head was coming through was the worse part I think and the most painful, once the head was out and I did the last few pushes. I could hear everyone saying push push! and the doctor saying very good "Pamela that was a good push now give me somemore".
I could feel her head between my legs and I heard alot of suctioning which was the mucus being sucked out of her mouth and nose according to CJ. But while I was pushing, I had my eyes closed and thought that it was the vaccuum to pull her out because I didn't push enough. It was not after all. The very last push was the most relieving ever. I could feel the doctor holding Laurens' head up and then the final push I was screaming and the body slipped out and was caught and I did a huge "aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!". I felt this vacuous space suddenly and then the contractions stopped in its tracks.
CJ's face came over me and said "dah! Lauren's out! Lauren's out!" I tried nodding but I was too exhausted. I could feel the blood and amniotic fluid flowing about the bed and around my bottom. The baby was brought up to my face and I opened my eyes and looked at my baby for the first time and said ... "hey.. dah. She looks just like you..." and CJ laughed. He was then passed a scissor like instrument and then was given the chance to cut the umbilical cord. The doctor asked me if I would like to carry her but I couldn't even lift my arms so I said "I will, later." She was cleaned and put into the baby warmer at the foot of my bed.
And then I had another contraction and the doctor came and pushed against my abdomen and the placenta slipped out. It felt like it was ripping out of my body and they caught it in a dish. The doctor then started to squish my abdomen which really hurt and since I could already speak and open my eyes, I snapped at him saying "must you push so hard!" And he nodded and said that he had to push the excess blood out. He then proceeded to sew up the episiotomy while I rested and looked at the crying baby and CJ leaned back onto the chair and let out a 'phew!' and closed his eyes.
Lauren was born after 50 minutes of pushing according the nurse at 3:20am 15th November, 2000. She had an APGAR score of 9 at one minute and 9 at 5 minutes. After the sewing was done, the doctor came to my bed side and congratulated us both and commented that it was a good delivery. We stayed in the delivery ward while the nurse dressed Lauren and swaddled her and a pediatrician came to give her a check-up.
The ahmah brought me a cup of warm milo upon my request and we sat there and looked at our little piece of heaven crying in her warmer. A nurse came in to help me get acquianted with how to get the baby to latch on which didn't work till much later when Lauren was older. At around 6:30am, the nurse brought a wheel chair and took the baby to the nursery. CJ pushed me up to my ward with the nurse accompanying us. I was feeling abit dizzy and weak and had literally no more voice left to speak. My hair was in a mess and I smelt really sour and felt dirty.
When in my ward and got into bed, CJ brought the bag in and went home to change and rest. I tried to sleep but couldn't so I waited till CJ was home and called him to tell him the ward telephone number. He returned at around 8am but the nurse said that the visiting hours were only from 12pm onwards. So CJ went home and got changed, went to work, had breakfast and took the day off and went back to rest. I spent the morning calling friends and relatives to notify them that Lauren was born and giving them the ward number. CJ returned to the hospital at noon and we spent the rest of the day talking and touching our little bundle of joy. I was discharged the following morning with no complications to both mother and baby and so begins our journey of parenthood...